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Related: private - genitalia
Intimate and private parts
An intimate or private part is a place on the human body. The term is a bowdlerized reference.
Definitions may vary of what are the human intimate or private parts, but in Western cultures they are approximately the parts involved in sexual arousal, procreation, and elimination of feces and urine:
- for males, the penis, the scrotum, and the buttocks
- for females, the vulva, the buttocks, as well as to a lesser extent the breasts.
In some periods of Chinese history (ending in 1911), foot binding made female feet private parts.
Exposure of one's intimate parts, particularly unintended exposure, is connected with feelings of shame, and subject to strict social rules, social control and criminal justice. (See nudity and indecent exposure.)
Touching the intimate parts of another person, even through clothing, is often associated with sexual intent. Thus, if this is done without consent (or with consent that is legally not valid), it may be considered to be sexual harassment or sexual assault.
In some societies, the human intimate parts are deemed sacred and are part of cultural rituals. For example, a village in Côte d'Ivoire considers female genital cutting a social ritual. ( (http://idcs0100.lib.iup.edu/~tconelly/Africa/Reading/SlowChallengeRitual.htm)). A routine cultural practice of male circumcision is still performed in most hospitals in the USA. In many cases, a sex reassignment is performed on intersex children. Some genital integrity groups perceive these practices as barbaric and violent. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intimate_part [Feb 2005]
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